What new perspectives would you say are revealed in the paper? Can you sum
On Friday, August 16, 2013 1:50:04 AM UTC-4, Brent wrote:
> Here's a fascinating essay by Scott Aronson that is a really scientific,
> operational exposition on the question of 'free will'; one which takes my
> idea that if you solve the engineering problem you may solve the
> philosophical problem along the way and does much more with it than I could.
> He also discusses how the entanglement of the brain with the environment
> affects personal identity as in Bruno Marchal's duplication thought
> He also discusses Stenger's idea of the source of the arrow of time
> (secton 5.4) and Boltzmann brains.
> The Ghost in the Quantum Turing Machine
> Scott Aaronson
> (Submitted on 2 Jun 2013 (v1), last revised 7 Jun 2013 (this version, v2))
> In honor of Alan Turing's hundredth birthday, I unwisely set out some
> thoughts about one of Turing's obsessions throughout his life, the question
> of physics and free will. I focus relatively narrowly on a notion that I
> call "Knightian freedom": a certain kind of in-principle physical
> unpredictability that goes beyond probabilistic unpredictability. Other,
> more metaphysical aspects of free will I regard as possibly outside the
> scope of science. I examine a viewpoint, suggested independently by Carl
> Hoefer, Cristi Stoica, and even Turing himself, that tries to find scope
> for "freedom" in the universe's boundary conditions rather than in the
> dynamical laws. Taking this viewpoint seriously leads to many interesting
> conceptual problems. I investigate how far one can go toward solving those
> problems, and along the way, encounter (among other things) the No-Cloning
> Theorem, the measurement problem, decoherence, chaos, the arrow of time,
> the holographic principle, Newcomb's paradox, Boltzmann brains, algorithmic
> information theory, and the Common Prior Assumption. I also compare the
> viewpoint explored here to the more radical speculations of Roger Penrose.
> The result of all this is an unusual perspective on time, quantum
> mechanics, and causation, of which I myself remain skeptical, but which has
> several appealing features. Among other things, it suggests interesting
> empirical questions in neuroscience, physics, and cosmology; and takes a
> millennia-old philosophical debate into some underexplored territory.
> Comments: 85 pages (more a short book than a long essay!), 2 figures.
> To appear in "The Once and Future Turing: Computing the World," a
> collection edited by S. Barry Cooper and Andrew Hodges. And yes, I know
> Turing is 101 by now. v2: Corrected typos
> Subjects: Quantum Physics (quant-ph); General Literature (cs.GL);
> History and Philosophy of Physics (physics.hist-ph)
> Cite as: arXiv:1306.0159 [quant-ph]
> (or arXiv:1306.0159v2 [quant-ph] for this version)
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